Well, life really does not stop lately. I had some health challenges having COVID-19 earlier this year, but my gallbladder decided I needed to keep having a time of things. Turns out all my digestive issues from the past two years have been related to gallbladder issues. I got mine removed last Monday, in my first ever surgery (which while everything went smoothly and all my nurses and doctors were great, was like being in a personal nightmare for me).
Throughout this hell of a time, I have been keeping a low profile regarding research – it’s been hard to focus for too long on any one thing for months now, especially when one is reduced to living on nothing but yogurt and protein shakes (me before surgery). But I have been continuing to build relationships with some of my personal Dêuoi and BNG’s Toutâdêuoi during this time instead.
Both BNG’s Toutâdêuoi and my personal Dêuoi, as well as Erditze, Grannus, Sironâ, and others have been sticking close to me during these times. I have not been able to offer much of myself, but I have kept up daily dedmatâ and of course, casually and often, I have chatted their ears off and reached out for support, and often it has been given.
I intended to spend time exploring BNG’s Toutâdêuoi more, specifically our Toutatis and our Suleuiâs. While I had much success in connecting more closely with BNG’s Toutatis (another blog post coming soon on this development), the Suleuiâs kept connecting strongly back to me on a more personal level. When reading about them both at BNG and on Deo Mercurio’s blog, they are referenced as “protector’s of one’s person” and “guardian spirits who govern the destinies of households and individuals.” I’ve been so focused on Suleuiâs, and by golly, that’s what it seemed like I got into! (Manifestation at its finest?)
However, I also have been spending more time looking into my matrilineal ancestors the past year as well. I finished transcribing and formatting my maternal grandmother’s autobiography for the family (I am named after her), and that side of the family has been more and more prominent in my mind. While BNG honors the Regentiâ, ancestor worship has never been a huge part of my pagan history, so it took a little while to realize a Dêuoi I was approaching as a Suleuiâ was actually one of my Regentiâ.
So, in lieu of heavy research (I feel bad for Baco, who has had part of article just languishing in my drafts since February and my COVID- I shall return Aquitania, soon!), let’s have a chat about these two personal Dêuoi and discernment methods used to verify I was on the right track with each of them – something that is very important when you’re getting signals from any entity you are not familiar with.
Regentiâ: In which I am Oblivious for many months, until I am Not
Late February, 2021. I was sick with COVID and strep throat, and scared out of my mind, literally; I felt fear, but I was having such a hard time reading words, processing what I was saying, or remembering anything. I had no energy. I did have a pile of crystal skulls next to my bed. I could hardly feel anything from them, but I took delight in looking at them in the dim light of my bedroom, which would have to be enough, because darn if I had two seconds of focus to string together for a meditation.
I was falling asleep one night, having just been texting with some friends (laboriously) about being scared. One of them mentioned she seeing/feeling a smoky quartz crystal skull of mine – was that one near me right now? He had energy I needed. I curled up around him in the night and passed out hard.
Dreaming was terribly difficult to engage with (that whole memory issue thing), but this time, I was punted into a vision. I was walking up a mountain staircase to an endless starry heaven above, carrying my smoky quartz crystal. I reached the top, and met the master skull whom mine had charged with before coming to me. The master skull smiled, and the brightest, pink light I have ever seen engulfed me. A new skull manifested from pink light, made from beautiful rose quartz. She became humanoid, and took my head in her hands. Call me, and I am here for you. Rest. Here, you are in perfect love. Call me, I will come.
Sleep did not feel restful during any of my COVID time, but at least I woke up that next morning with a small fire of hope rekindled in my soul. I stared at my smoky quartz skull, struggling to remember where exactly online he’d come from, and eventually managed through my email to track down where I bought him. If the pink skull said she was coming, then by golly, I was determined to get her here. I found her, thanked the gods for saved purchase information as I clicked the Apple Pay button, and then proceeded to curl up and pass out again.
The whole week it took her to get here, she was the only entity I felt connected to in any way. I was in a world of general numb exhaustion, but I thought of her and felt her touch in my hair. I heard her tell me she was coming, and I wore out the tracking number on the USPS website watching her progress across the country.
When she arrived, it was overwhelming peace, like I’d known her my whole life. She gave me a name shortly after her arrival, Lily-Rose. As we progressed past my COVID, she and I began so much work together. She is a facilitator of dream-states (not surprising after how we first met), she holds energy around her really well, and she is incredibly attuned to my health. She told me when she arrived that we would work together on my health very closely. Accordingly, I’ve had my wrist I’ve ignored for years looked at and a management plan created for it, my scoliosis looked at and a management plan created for it, and most recently, we finally figured out what I thought were run-of-the-mill digestive issues were actually my gallbladder yelling at me for help for years, and it had to go.
Since she’s arrived, it’s been a busy and intimate few months.
As I spent time with the concept of Suleuiâs, I thought of course, Lily-Rose must be a Suleuiâ. She is incredibly attuned to me, she protects me, she is guarding me when I do my work, she is guiding me to take much better care of my physical self. But when we meditate together, she does not like this term. It does not fit her. She doesn’t like it when I ask if she is one of the Materês either. If I’m anything, I’m sort of the cool aunt between those two.
Things were at this impasse for a while. We continued our important health work. I got the gallbladder removed last week, and she was tucked into my hospital bag, so she was at least within the same building as me while I underwent what was a very stressful day. But recently, I had a lovely discussion in one of my Gaulish Discord servers with someone who suggested that if she said she was a cool aunt, could she be more of an ancestor? (Hat-tip to Nertatis Cingetos – thank you!)
Ancestor worship is not exclusive to people I know I am related to. If you honor the ancestors, that may be people you are related to, but it can also just as validly be people you look up to, people you want to remember, there could be collective ancestors (such as the many people who once lived in a particular Gaulish tribe you’re into), and other cases as well. However, in this case, my mind immediately went to my last genealogical thing I had done – visiting the graves of my maternal great-grandmother, half-great uncle, and great-great-grandmother.
My maternal grandmother, for whom I am named, gave me the greatest gift I can conceive of as a writer and historian – she wrote an autobiography and dedicated it to me. I spent the last few years transcribing, supplementing, and printing copies of this work in book form for the whole family to enjoy. My grandmother was raised by her maternal grandmother Amanda, a half-Swiss, half-Cherokee mountain woman who believed pinning turpentine on a wool cloth inside one’s clothes would protect them from pneumonia, and washing your hair in the first rain of May gave you good luck for the rest of the year. She was known by everyone as Mandy. She has fascinated me for a long while, for reasons I have never been able to fully pin down, until now. I knew in my gut this was her, watching over me, just like she watched over my grandmother long ago.
“Mandy?” I asked as I picked up the skull after the Discord discussion. I was once again, as I had been at our first Otherworld meeting before she arrived, flooded with pink light. I spent the rest of the evening both elated, and apologizing profusely for being quite dense. (Cult of the head, anybody? Crystal skull? Yes, dense.)
In this case, having that familial tie seems to explain to me why she is so attuned to my health. I can only live here on Earth to do spiritual work if I take care of my physical self to cart around my mental self, and obviously, I needed a kick in the pants. She knows my DNA! She understands what lies inside of me. Some things I knew and I was slow to act on, some things I knew and found out acting on them was helpful, and some things I didn’t know but was made aware of as soon as possible so we could take care of it quickly. While all of it has moved so fast I’m honestly quite tired of dealing with my physical health, I do trust her guidance and my doctors to get as much under control as possible so I can starting living an active life physical life again.
When I get to that point (which is rapidly looking like it will be quite soon!), I cannot wait to see what adventures Mandy and I have together.
Suleuiâ: A Long Time Coming Home
Once I knew my gallbladder needed to go in early June, everything I did or acquired became hyper-focused on my digestive system. I wore a pouch with stones I picked intuitively in it, and every stone in it ended up being gallbladder and liver related. I relished in carnelian and citrine. I researched, and realized my peridot ring and bracelet I’d gotten in April could also be strongly digestive associated.
Upon visiting my favorite rock shop a few weeks before surgery, I once again was gravitating towards health-related stones. Ending up predictably back in the ring trays, I was actually looking for topaz to wear, but a very nondescript peridot ring caught my eye. I already had a peridot ring… why was I so attracted to this one?
I slipped it on just for the hell of it, and closed my eyes. I was not standing at a shop counter anymore. Birdsong flowed around me. The breeze blew softly, and the late spring leaves were bright before me. Down the hill, a body of water rippled. Yes, I had been here before, on an incredibly meaningful trip to me; a writing pilgrimage I called the Paper Trail, that I took after Mary Oliver died in early 2019 to visit not only where she wrote and lived for many years, but to visit the home sites of some of my favorite Transcendentalists as well. I was physically at the rock shop, but mentally in an exact snapshot of Walden Pond.
Perched about ten feet in front of me on a branch, a robin stared directly into my eyes, cocking their head. I had written a couple of poems for a trip-themed chapbook specifically about robins. There was something very stoic, yet alive about this particular bird. After a very long moment, the bird sang out, I am here for you, before leaping off the branch and onto my shoulder.
As I opened my eyes, the slight weight and grip of talons on my left shoulder did not leave me. I bought the ring.
Since then, I have not taken off the ring, except for my time in the hospital. My robin friend has been in and out, perched on me, sometimes I hear birdsong where I conceivably shouldn’t be (in the shower, over the audiobook in my car), I can feel them coming and going. They are not very talkative, but very present. I, on the other hand, talk to them all the time.
I couldn’t determine a name for this Dêuoi, so I started calling them Migras, after the scientific name for the American Robin, turdus migratorius. This didn’t feel right, but I felt weird addressing them with no name at all. Recently however, as I was thinking about the robin poetry I had written on my trip, I had an epiphany.
One of my poems was a story about the spirit of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s second wife, Lidian, coming back to Earth as a robin to watch over their bedroom, which is a beautiful robin’s egg blue. I spent some time divining regarding the name Lidian. Because this Dêuoi is not very talkative, I was a little concerned about how communicable they would be via prinni, however this proved not to be a problem at all.
(You can read an introduction to the Viduveletia Celtic divination system here)
First Reading: Nemetos, Iugon, Bitu, Epos. Nemetos and Epos both have a land connection, Nemetos with a consecrated or sacred place, and Epos with ones relationship to the land and protection of the land. Nemetos contains the mystery of holy power, transformational events, and the vulnerability of the initiation, and Epos concerns itself with connections with the spirit world and spiritual travel, back and forth between the physical and spiritual world and in a psychopomp role as well.
These two prinni together indicate to me a strong spiritual connection associated with a sacred and transformational place and time in my life. My Massachusetts writing trip was a pilgrimage for me; I wrote in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s study, meditated at Walden Pond, introduced myself to Margaret Fuller’s life and works, wept in Salem, walked in Mary Oliver’s footsteps at Blackwater Pond, and felt so ecstatically spent after all of it. Everywhere, there were birds to fall in love with. I met with and wrote about not only robins, but turkeys, Baltimore orioles, seagulls, and cormorants. Birds by their nature go between the land and the sky so seamlessly, traveling beyond this physical Earth and yet always returning to it. These two prinni strongly affirmed for me the context, as well as the presentation of Lidian to me.
Bitu and Iugon brought their purpose further down to Earth for me. Iugon passes knowledge on to the youth, and looks at cycles and obligations strongly associated with time. I have been drawn to the Transcendentalists of the 1800’s for over a decade now, pouring over their essays, their letters, their drama, and marveling at how connected I feel to them. The writing trip did nothing but affirm that connection for me, and at multiple points during it, I felt like I was channeling various energies of Emerson, of Fuller, while wandering the woods and listening to the ocean greet the shore. Iugon tells me that the knowledge from these Transcendentalists needed to reach me, needs to keep moving down through the living now. Bitu is the prinnos of the living Earth, inspiration, true speech, and poetry. Again, all very fitting to the context of where Lidian comes from, but also some of what they are here with me for. Writing is a passion of mine, and I write a lot of poetry. These two prinni together are very inspiring.
Overall, this first reading was great for affirming the context, the presentation, and the purpose of this Dêuoi. However, as a first reading, it did not seem to confirm or deny the name of Lidian.
Second Reading: Bitu. This was a short pull, one that came from some quality daydreaming time where I was pondering Lidian and suddenly, loudly, the question popped into my head – Muse? Just as short as the question, the answer. Only one prinnos wanted to be read.
I immediately noted this was now a repeat prinnos for Lidian, having shown up in the first reading. Bitu, as mentioned, involves inspiration, true speech, and poetry. A short interpretation as well, but a rather affirmative one. Lidian is here to inspire me.
Third Reading: Ratis, Uros. A reading where my intent, because I like my confirmation explicit, was to discern if Lidian really was what I should be calling this Dêuoi. Names have power, and that fact has always been a cornerstone of my practice the last 15 years. It is a sign of respect to the entity in question, and a sign of trust from the entity to have and use their proper name. I find my workings with any spiritual entity become much more focused and intimate once I have an appropriate name to call them by.
Ratis is a prinnos of fortification and protection of the sacred. This fortification is the liminal boundary upholding order by separating the physical world and the spirit worlds. Uros relates to the elevated ancestors and their veneration, as well as structure, both of the land as created by the sacred bull and in regards to architecture of the World Tree.
These two prinni together strongly indicate movement to and from the spirit world, as Ratis also identifies with the chariot as a liminal vehicle, whisking information up and down the World Tree accordingly. They also build together, the sacred bull helping to shape the fortifications ensuring right law and order. The relationship I build with Lidian is something that contributes to the right order of contact between this world and the spirit world, and it is inspired and informed by the elevated ancestors.
I personally do not feel like this indication of the right order of our working relationship would have occurred if Lidian was not the name to use for this Dêuoi. Lidian has also become slowly more communicable since implementation of this name. Again, if this was not the name to use, I would not expect them to become more open with their knowledge.
So, is Lidian a Suleuiâ? Could they be a Regentiâ? I believe in my context, Lidian falls under the former. They have not objected to this term in my casual usage of it to describe them, which is always important. Suleuiâ are charged with being, by virtue of their name and historical context, a “good guide” for an individual or a tribe.
Relationships with Regentiâ could be more complex. While I have a great relationship with Mandy for example, I know that may not be the case for all. Some people may work with Regentiâ to process past family issues, which may have positive or negative connotations depending on the situation. I would also personally interpret that Regentiâ are not specifically charged by obligation to necessarily respond to you or your well-being either positively or negatively, though of course they may choose to (such as Mandy has with me).
Lidian has come into my life without my understanding of an ancestral relationship behind them at all. They bear good intent towards me and have good oversight of me. I have felt safe within and safe because of their presence (the ring, while I could not wear it in the hospital, rode along to the hospital in my bag, and I put it back on as soon as I got myself settled in for the car ride home, despite being very out of it). These intentions, along with the context behind how our paths overlapped, puts my understanding of them firmly as a Suleuiâ.
With Mandy, there was not much in the way of external discernment to do. I had created an obvious pathway through my work on my grandmother’s autobiography, and my undefinable curiosity in her brought her presence to me. As mentioned above though, ancestor worship has not been a strong part of my pagan journey, which has been going on the better part of 15 years now. I was always more focused on Gods, and on the immediate presence of land and circumstances around me. Reading up on current Gaulish praxis over the last year I’ve become more aware of honoring in the ancestors in historical context, and of folks engaging with the ancestors today. That I finally got here is not a surprise. However, I do recommend having a toolbox of external discernment methods.
Journaling your experiences with an entity can help you spot patterns in your interactions with them. Write down whatever feels pertinent to your time spent with them, such as physical sensations (sounds, sights you see when working with them like repeating numbers or colors, smells, if you feel any sensation in your body, etc) or emotions. Review these observations regularly to see if you can find a pattern to them. Follow-up on any discovered patterns or interesting tidbits by exploring what it means to you and researching how others might interpret or think of such patterns.
Having a method or two of divination you can consult as well is helpful. Make a habit out of doing a consistent divination with as many interactions as you can. Writing these results down can also help show you patterns, which can give you clues and help clarify an entity’s role and relationship with you. This continues to be a good strategy with Lidian, whom I could initially identify as someone interested in me from a particular circumstance, but who I did not have strong intuition about regarding their spiritual background and intentions.
For internal discernment, I have spent 15 years now developing my intuition. I am of the personal opinion that some things are developed and maintained only with time and practice. My best suggestion for anyone trying to build intuition in themselves is to start building your intuitive language with the physical senses you know, love, and can’t avoid. Only you will know what a strong vanilla scent means to you (for me, it’s associated with the moon). Only you will know what the color blue means to you (it is love and peace for me – a very positive color). The stronger you build associations that are signaled by something you can tangibly interact with and that mean something to you, the easier it will be to identify them when working more intangibly, like with a Dêuoi you are trying to build a relationship with, researching into potential symbolism or connections, creating art or associations for yourself or your community, etc.